60 Minutes Producer and Alumna Speaks on Campus

    Nicole Young, “60 Minutes” producer, Emmy Award winner and graduate of The University of Scranton’s Class of 2000, discussed “Our Daily Bread: Child Hunger Here and Around the Globe” at University’s Spring Community Breakfast on April 2 on campus. From left are: Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Young; and Julie Schumacher Cohen, director of community and government relation.
    April 9, 2019
    By: Kelsey Wynn ’21, student correspondent

    At the University’s Spring Community Breakfast, Emmy Award-winning producer of “60 Minutes,” Nicole Young, told the story of seeing starving children on a television commercial for the first time when she was 13 years old. Young said she knew that poverty existed but never to the extent she witnessed that day on television.

    “If it’s real, it shouldn’t be. And what can I do?” Young said she thought to herself.

    Young told the audience composed of Scranton area residents, faculty, staff and students that she decided to become either a humanitarian or a journalist in order to have a platform to get the world talking about global issues.

    When The University of Scranton accepted Young as a communication major, she began building her experience as a broadcast journalist in her sophomore year by accepting an internship with the Scranton affiliate for CBS News. Her internship started at 5 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

    “I raised my hand, and I said ‘I’ll do it for free!’” Young said, laughing.

    Young went on to snag two subsequent internships, one in New York City and one in Washington, D.C., with CBS News before graduating from Scranton in 2000. After Young earned a master’s degree in international journalism from City, University of London, CBS News hired her to work as an assistant to Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”

    Sixteen years later, Young has won 13 Emmy Awards for her work with “60 Minutes.”

    At the Community Breakfast, Young played a compilation of several of her shows from “60 Minutes,” including “Fighting Famine,” which focuses on a rare famine emergency in South Sudan, and “War and Hunger,” a report on 10,000 people journeying 22 hours through the desert to escape ISIS and starvation by crossing the Jordanian border.

    “I’ve never seen desperation like that in my life,” Young said.

    Young said her experiences as a producer for “60 Minutes,” investigating starvation and poverty are overwhelming, yet very strangely addicting.

    “The tool to being a successful journalist,” Young said, “is being curious, wanting to go. Maybe if there were 100 of me, one child wouldn’t die today.”

    Young received a standing ovation at the end of her talk and said she was choked up about returning to Scranton after nearly 20 years.

    “The Jesuit education [at Scranton] gave me the power and strength to do the work I do,” Young said in closing.

    The breakfast was hosted by the University’s Office of Community and Government Relations and Schemel Forum.

    Kelsey Wynn ’21, Clarks Summit, is a journalism and electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
    Kelsey Wynn ’21, Clarks Summit, is a journalism and electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
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